Off Topic Messages

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had a Digital Camera?

1) Yes. We would have color and video, too!
4
31%
2) No way. His photos are classics on B&W film, and I prefer such photographs.
9
69%
 
Total votes : 13

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:33 am

In 1956, of course.

You can only pick one. Do explain, though! Even if you're not a photographer, you know what you like. And please ignore the time travel paradox.

Yes, there were some color shots, but the classics are in B&W, taken with only natural light. On film. Beautifully developed on real film, and printed on photographic paper the real old-fashioned way.

So, would you prefer it the millennial way? After all, you get more. Or do really think that maybe we've lost something we'll never quite get back?

rjm
Last edited by rjm on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:17 am

Aw, c'mon, most people have opinions about this! (Which one person shared, though without explanation.) It's probably hard to talk about because we ALL use digital cameras now, and maybe some of us feel a little guilty about the ease of it. That maybe we could get a photograph for the ages if we put in the effort, but would it make all that much difference?

But once you think of that set of classic photographs, you know there was a difference. You had to think out the shot. Think about the light, the focus (soft or hard), the ISO - affecting light vs. graininess, manually thinking about the depth of field . . . (even with certain "focus-helper" features, you always had to think about it). There were many more choices, and you couldn't just hit delete immediately and do again. You wouldn't even KNOW how it came out until later. So you had to put a heck of a lot more thought into each click of that shutter. It was easy to separate the great photographers from the wannabes.

And while you could dodge and burn, alone in a small, literally dark room at night, you couldn't manipulate images as you can today. So, we all do it. Who would go into that room and be miserable for hours?

I guess the question comes down to whether such classics will ever be seen again. Can photos today make you think and feel quite the way they used to? (Perhaps in high-intensity situations, sure.) But in the taking of such shots of what was essentially normal life, we may never see their like again.

So you know where I stand. (That said, I don't use film anymore, of course.)

Rock the vote! Speak!

rjm

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:36 am

It's a no-brainer, rj.

Don't mess with perfection.

I don't need to hear 'Hound Dog' in stereo - the mono is without fault.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:47 am

George Smith wrote:It's a no-brainer, rj.

Don't mess with perfection.

I don't need to hear 'Hound Dog' in stereo - the mono is without fault.


It may be a no-brainer, in that sense, but I doubt even Wertheimer messes with film anymore. Much less younger photographers. Yes, it has a cult following, but it's dying.

Today, it's probably just as hard to create a great record as it ever was, but I think it was harder to create a great "analog" photograph than anything you can do today. And because of the way it was harder, it made the photo better. And we've lost that. People are more likely to make great records than the kind of great documentary photography as in the Wertheimer collection.

Anyone have examples that would counter this?

rjm

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:53 am

This isn't an area of expertise for me, but is anyone taking great "musical photos" these days?

Is there anything out there to compare to, say, the great jazz photographs of William Gottlieb?

Is there a new Mick Rock snapping away today?

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:11 am

rjm wrote:In 1956, of course....


I voted yes !

Were so used to his work in b & w, the pictures have become iconic.

It's like the footage from the two world wars.

We're so used to those in b & w, it sometimes seems that the events they depict actually happened like that !

But in colour, they'd be even better & more life-like..

Those who prefer the starkness of b & w could always view the Elvis shots like that !

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:35 am

George Smith wrote:This isn't an area of expertise for me, but is anyone taking great "musical photos" these days?

Is there anything out there to compare to, say, the great jazz photographs of William Gottlieb?

Is there a new Mick Rock snapping away today?


Here's a place to look.

http://www.musicphotographers.net/noted-photographers/noted-photographers

I think the older material is much more powerful, after a quick skim. (In the old days, they signed each original print. A print meant something!)

rjm

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:42 am

First and foremost i would of shot in colour & from that you could make as many b/w prints as you like & also dependant is the type of film stock used , however that was the choice of Wertheimer at the time and he just happened to be in the right place a the right time and it payed off big time for him, however with technology as it is today anybody can be a photographer but the real skill and eye for it cant be bought it has to be learned.

it's all about recognizing when to take the shot

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:40 pm

The first Digital Camera wasn't built till 1975, so it's highly unlikely he could have used one in 1956.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:45 pm

I would have used digital if it had been available at the time

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:48 pm

i never thought about it ... he didn't!! end of story really !!

promiseland... man you done it again :D

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:46 pm

The only advantage would be Al could have taken thousands more photos.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:38 pm

promiseland wrote:The first Digital Camera wasn't built till 1975, so it's highly unlikely he could have used one in 1956.


Don't take everything so literally...............

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:48 am

If you put this in your topic title, it may help get it reassigned to "All Elvis."

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had a Digital Camera?

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:53 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:If you put this in your topic title, it may help get it reassigned to "All Elvis."

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had a Digital Camera?


Thanks, Doc!

So far, this has been quite fascinating.

I have to say that it would be hard to ask for "more" from this particular collection, since I have all the calendars since . . . whenever, all the books, and despite the effort he expended, he sure took a lot of shots. And these were not mere "snapshots." Despite the volume of shots he did take, he had a great command of the use of light, of focus decisions, and a rationale. He said he looked for the moments "just before" or "just after" something significant happened. He knew what he was after, artistically. And he carefully and selectively "broke rules" and sometimes came up with gems.

And that was where I was headed: do we take so many "snapshots" today that we miss the opportunity to take photographs? And if you look back, and think about the time before this was possible in the same way, would such great photographs even exist? We'd have "more," certainly. But what would they be?

Even the "development" process today, such as it is, bears no resemblance to what it was in the days of darkrooms. My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say. Until it expressed the meaning we had in mind. I'm not sure I ever put quite that much effort into it, but it was a choice. (As for composition, he didn't really believe in "the rules." He felt that if you saw meaning in the composition, you probably already followed "the rules" without being slavish. You know: "the rule of thirds," and when to use "framing" and the like. Brilliant guy. Still around. http://www.arthurleipzig.com/ He was a real tough guy, when teaching.)

On the other hand, more people are involved in taking pictures, and perhaps the art of digital photography will evolve in time.

rjm

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:17 am

rjm wrote: My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say.

rjm



Did his wife find out? :D

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:32 am

TJ wrote:
rjm wrote: My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say.

rjm



Did his wife find out? :D


:smt046 Oh, God! smt174

rjm (by "we," I of course meant members of his class - in either their own darkrooms, or sign up to use the one at the university - I had turned a small bathroom at home into a darkroom at the time)

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:45 am

TJ wrote:
rjm wrote: My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say.

rjm



Did his wife find out? :D



:smt003 :smt003 :smt003 :smt003

Re: Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:19 am

Here's the "lover boy." :smt003

Arthur.jpg


He was my teacher in the early '80s, when was merely middle-aged and bald, rather than older than dirt. :smt005

rjm
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:23 am

TJ wrote:
rjm wrote: My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say.

rjm



Did his wife find out? :D

Cue: Rim Shot.

Re: Photography. Your answer, please.

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:09 pm

It would have been nice if Alfred Wertheimer had spent more time with Elvis, had taken more photos, and taken more color photos. But I don't wish for digital. Wertheimer was a photographer in the true sense of the word. There is often more information on the sides of the negatives and more range than the prints reveal. I'll bet he spent a lot of time in the darkroom getting the prints just right, from the framing to contrast.

There is one Wertheimer image I'd like to get a perfect print of, poster-size, from the camera neg, to hang on my wall, in that space now occupied by an enlargement of a Poe daguerreotype (not the Ultima Thule). It shows Elvis, Scotty and D.J. on stage at night. Elvis is in a fervor on both toes.


rjm wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:If you put this in your topic title, it may help get it reassigned to "All Elvis."

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had a Digital Camera?


Thanks, Doc!

So far, this has been quite fascinating.

I have to say that it would be hard to ask for "more" from this particular collection, since I have all the calendars since . . . whenever, all the books, and despite the effort he expended, he sure took a lot of shots. And these were not mere "snapshots." Despite the volume of shots he did take, he had a great command of the use of light, of focus decisions, and a rationale. He said he looked for the moments "just before" or "just after" something significant happened. He knew what he was after, artistically. And he carefully and selectively "broke rules" and sometimes came up with gems.

And that was where I was headed: do we take so many "snapshots" today that we miss the opportunity to take photographs? And if you look back, and think about the time before this was possible in the same way, would such great photographs even exist? We'd have "more," certainly. But what would they be?

Even the "development" process today, such as it is, bears no resemblance to what it was in the days of darkrooms. My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say. Until it expressed the meaning we had in mind. I'm not sure I ever put quite that much effort into it, but it was a choice. (As for composition, he didn't really believe in "the rules." He felt that if you saw meaning in the composition, you probably already followed "the rules" without being slavish. You know: "the rule of thirds," and when to use "framing" and the like. Brilliant guy. Still around. http://www.arthurleipzig.com/ He was a real tough guy, when teaching.)

On the other hand, more people are involved in taking pictures, and perhaps the art of digital photography will evolve in time.

rjm


That's quite a distinction, to study with Arthur Leipzig. What were some of the lessons you took away from that workshop?

Re: Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:29 pm

Actually, this is the one:

Image

Re: Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:44 am

.

Re: Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:50 am

Richard--W wrote:It would have been nice if Alfred Wertheimer had spent more time with Elvis, had taken more photos, and taken more color photos. But I don't wish for digital. Wertheimer was a photographer in the true sense of the word. There is often more information on the sides of the negatives and more range than the prints reveal. I'll bet he spent a lot of time in the darkroom getting the prints just right, from the framing to contrast.

There is one Wertheimer image I'd like to get a perfect print of, poster-size, from the camera neg, to hang on my wall, in that space now occupied by an enlargement of a Poe daguerreotype (not the Ultima Thule). It shows Elvis, Scotty and D.J. on stage at night. Elvis is in a fervor on both toes.


rjm wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:If you put this in your topic title, it may help get it reassigned to "All Elvis."

Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had a Digital Camera?


Thanks, Doc!

So far, this has been quite fascinating.

I have to say that it would be hard to ask for "more" from this particular collection, since I have all the calendars since . . . whenever, all the books, and despite the effort he expended, he sure took a lot of shots. And these were not mere "snapshots." Despite the volume of shots he did take, he had a great command of the use of light, of focus decisions, and a rationale. He said he looked for the moments "just before" or "just after" something significant happened. He knew what he was after, artistically. And he carefully and selectively "broke rules" and sometimes came up with gems.

And that was where I was headed: do we take so many "snapshots" today that we miss the opportunity to take photographs? And if you look back, and think about the time before this was possible in the same way, would such great photographs even exist? We'd have "more," certainly. But what would they be?

Even the "development" process today, such as it is, bears no resemblance to what it was in the days of darkrooms. My best photography instructor, Arthur Leipzig, insisted that we spend entire nights - dusk 'til dawn, in that darkroom, doing print after print until we "hit it," you might say. Until it expressed the meaning we had in mind. I'm not sure I ever put quite that much effort into it, but it was a choice. (As for composition, he didn't really believe in "the rules." He felt that if you saw meaning in the composition, you probably already followed "the rules" without being slavish. You know: "the rule of thirds," and when to use "framing" and the like. Brilliant guy. Still around. http://www.arthurleipzig.com/ He was a real tough guy, when teaching.)

On the other hand, more people are involved in taking pictures, and perhaps the art of digital photography will evolve in time.

rjm


That's quite a distinction, to study with Arthur Leipzig. What were some of the lessons you took away from that workshop?


Most of all, I would say that the most important thing was to know what you wanted to "say" with a photograph, and not to worry about "the rules."

If you'll notice, his work is very "linear" in that he loved to capture "lines" in everything he saw.

He wanted us to find our own "voices" you might say, and not to copy anyone.

It was a very cherished experience.

rjm


Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4

Re: Do You Wish Al Wertheimer Had A Digital Camera?

Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:12 pm

I wish, he had shot a lot more of his now classic pictures. They are so wonderful! I wish, he had use color on some of it.